Friday, February 21, 2014

Trolling Tampa Craigslist

Sooooo....we are taking a roadtrip to Florida on Sunday.  My Parents have rented a place for a few weeks along the Weeki Wachee River about an hour north of Tampa.  The 12 hour trip up to Ohio for Christmas went so well, that we figured a trip to FL (just half the time) will be a breeze.

Of course since we are driving to another city you know what that means.  I had to waste a couple hours pop on Craigslist to see what's up in Tampa.  I couldn't resist.  What if there was a steal of a deal? What if there was unique piece just waiting to be revived?!

Yeah. What if?!  Big mistake.
2 Dixie campaign chests for $175
It was one cool thing after the next. These two campaign chests above are just calling my name.  I don't think I need to explain my love for campaign furniture, but how many pieces of furniture can one have in their house that is the same style without being overkill?  I did just have to throw out a bed to accommodate the 5 piece set I scored before Christmas. Ha!
(Update: these sold before I even finished writing this post. Of course they did!)

Last I checked though, this beautiful campaign desk was still available and it's only $40 people! Run! Someone please, run to pick up this beauty!  It would be great for a little entry table or a console/sofa table too.
campaign desk -$40!!!!!

I LOVE this vintage Drexel dresser and believe it or not, I would definitely keep the wood.  The burl and brass are so gorgeous!  I really want to have a great wood piece in my bedroom and this would be perfect!
Drexel burl & brass dresser $400
There are several faux bamboo dressers (but real wood) that I would love to have.  To me, these are just begging for a high gloss lacquer in a bold color.   Even though I love my mint green credenza/entry table  I would trade it out for this beauty.
Faux bamboo wood bedroom set -$425

This one below is great too, just not as good as the first.  Still, solid wood and only $200.
Dixie faux bamboo dresser $200
If I had seen these Lucite dining chairs before I found mine I would have been renting a trailer in Tampa.  For sure.  Hell, I should still go buy them.  These things would sell for a pretty penny...Im talking thousands on Chairish or 1stDibs.  Yes, now I am a furniture dealer.  
Lucite chairs $400 for set of 4

The hunt still continues for my bedroom nightstands here is a set of three for $75.  I bet these were nice wood before they were painted.  If you were really ambitious you could strip these down to their midcentury glory.  Still, the shape is great and they look like they hold a lot of shit!  Bonus!  Oh and did I mention they are only $75 for three!!?
MCM nightstands -3 for $75!

This nightstand has a nice boxy shape and unique pulls, but Im not convinced with the wood finish.

Ditto for this campaigner below.  It's a perfect little side table.
Campaign side table - $75
This set sold me with the unique hardware.  It needs to be gold. Period. 
3 piece set $100

 Although the whole set is dope, the nightstands are my favorite.  I would see if the gold hardware makes me like the wood better and then decide if I should paint it or not. But hello?  It's only $100 for 4 pieces. (headboard not pictured)  Craziness!! Someone please snatch this up! 

Under the search "vintage" (one of my regulars) this awesome chandelier came up.  
 LOVE LOVE LOVE!  And just $155?!   

This could easily fit into our SUV.  This would make my bedroom, although I would have to convince Ernesto that it looks better than a ceiling fan feels.  I do like the fans breeze in the summer, but would give it up for this light in a second.  Mi amor?

Somebody stop me already!!

Ok, if you are still with me, I have one last thing to share.  This would not easily fit into our SUV.  But it could be strapped on top right?  Verdad mi amor? This is 8 feet of tufted beauty.  
vintage tufted couch $250

If you think it looks dated, I will concur.  But you would not believe how many decades are forgotten when you peel off that skirt.  It would look fresh and modern.  I actually love the pink, but would change the fabric to a darker velvet to match my decor.  Ps. A couch of this size, tufted and in velvet would be at least $3k brand new and Im sure the quality would not be as good.

I think Atlanta Craigslist is pretty good, but you are killing me Tampa!  All of this came up within a few days.  I guess this is why Florida is the thrifting capital!!  Im looking forward to hitting some of the actual consignment shops and thrift stores while we are there too.  It won't take much to convince my mom to go with me either. 

Im done.  I need to start packing for this Florida trip.  We will be packing light to assure there is least a little room for found treasures. 

Remember when I had the idea to be a Craigslist personal shopper?  I still think that is a great idea, but until then, I will do it for free.  Seriously, I don't mind.  What city do you want me to stalk for you?  

Sunday, February 16, 2014

A Valentines Day Bake-Off!

I hope you guys had a sweet Valentines Day!  We sure did.  In fact, my stomach hurt a little the next morning from just how sweet it was.

My parents were here for a couple days, passing through on their way to Florida. We had planned to go out on a date Tuesday night while they were here so they could watch the boys.  A pre-valentine dinner if you will.

Enter winter ice storm.

With all the news coverage stating no one should drive the next day, everyone in Atlanta had flashbacks to a few weeks before and I had to spend 30 minutes in line at Kroger for wipes and coffee.  Come on Atlanta!  I would've left but we were down to the last few wipes and ...hello? coffee!

My parents feared they would be stuck in another southern "winter storm" debacle so they packed up in less than an hour and got out of dodge!!  I can't really blame them. Later that evening they were in 64° weather while all of Atlanta was stuck inside for the next three days.

When the ice finally melted we ventured out to Whole Foods.  (Yes that is an outing for us!)   Usually this includes a stop at TJMaxx next door, but they were still closed along with a lot of other businesses.
Since we were going to be spending V-day at home, we had to do something different.  I had an idea to surprise each other with a homemade dessert.  I think this was my way to get Ernesto excited.  He is not big on the "Hallmark Holiday" but he loves a good competition.  And me, well,  I love any opportunity for surprises.

While Mateo was at school Friday making me this beautiful Valentine...

Neto, Marcelo and I went shopping for the secret ingredients! 

We didn't share what we were baking (obvs) but we noticed we both were buying chocolate. Hmmm
Me: What are you baking yours in? 
Him: little bowls
Me:  Ramekins? 
Him: Yes.  You?
Me:  Ramekins.
Him:  Mine is going to be better!
Me:  We will see about that!

I would never enter a cook-off with Ernesto, but a bake-off seemed like it could be fair.  I just hoped we weren't making the same thing! 

While Ernesto put Mateo to bed, I had Marcelo in the Ergo and got to mixing my special dessert. I left the 4 ramekins covered and ready to be baked while we ate our dinner.

I grabbed these cute place mats from Target earlier that day and they really set the mood.  Ok the flowers, candles and wine also helped.  It was really exciting guys!  (You can tell I don't get out much!)  
Dinner included steaks (mine-filet and his-ribeye) and whole foods actually had a v-day special where you get a lobster tail with each steak! Yes!  This kind-of made up for the restaurant prices we paid for the meat. Organic and grass fed costs, but DAMN it was delicious...even for this steak snob. **
(**every steak I eat is compared to eating in Argentina.  Oh Delta I miss you!  The price has never been beat, but this steak did come close!) 
I roasted broccoli and asparagus as a side dish.  It was crispy and delicious. 
I cleaned this plate up which left no room for dessert. 
 We pressed on though.  Full stomachs be damned!

I found the recipe for my Chocolate Molten Cakes on a blog called Delicious Shots.  Nawja is a chef and a photographer, so I only had to see one picture of this cake oozing chocolate to know it was my ticket to victory!  This is a repeater!  Easy, beautiful and sinfully delicious.  Just wrong.
Note to self:  Self, you do not need to finish such a decadent dessert all in one sitting.  And you definitely do not need to lick the plate...especially with another decadent dessert being served after.

Ernesto's dessert admittedly was more labor intensive.  He made a Molten Soufle from the site Chef Steps.  It was beautiful.
His recipe came with video instructions.  (great little video and website!)
Only thing - it was made by someone in Europe or Canada (or another country using the metric system)  so he had to convert all ingredient measurements.

We have watched Chopped enough to know how to critique food.
 Judging came down to three things:  Taste, presentation and creativity.

Here are the objective results of the competition!

We tied on creativity since our desserts were somewhat similar.
Ernesto won for presentation......but I WON for TASTE!
(I think Ernesto would want me to explain that the conversion of salt from grams to teaspoons may have lost him the competition.)

Here we are in a sweet induced stupor.
We.  Can't.  Eat.  Another.  Bite.
I think we may have started a long lasting tradition for Valentines Day.  It was exciting, fun and sweet as hell! A really special way to celebrate the one you love, right?  Plus just sitting down together for a proper meal really sparks conversation and reminds me of why I am so in love with this guy!

Something else we decided to continue with is that we buy just one card.  Ernesto read mine and said, "Can I just give this back to you?  It is exactly what I want to say to you [if I had bought you a card.]  Ha!  Ok Neto, as long as you hand write a few sweet words I like that idea.  (You buy it next year though mi amor!)

What did you guys do for Valentines Day?  Anything special?  Any new traditions started??

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Wallpaper or Stencil? A Tale of an Unfinished Project and New Inspiration!

I had been dreaming of wallpaper for a while, so when we moved into our house two years ago I seriously started looking at my options.  There were plenty. If you have opened a design magazine or blog recently, then you know how awesome the designs are these days.  One of my favorites was this trellis design.  There are "discount" versions which seem like a steal compared to the original Kelly Wearstler wallpaper that retails for $187 (for a single roll?!) 

But just look at it in a small bathroom! LOVE! 
Still, when I priced out my small powder room with the more "inexpensive" papers, it still rang in around $300, which I couldn't justify back then knowing that I had a whole "builder beige" house to decorate from scratch.

Enter the DIY stencil!

My friend Amanda had just bought a stencil at Hobby Lobby for $16 and said that I was welcome to borrow it. 

I loved the design and thought it would be a great alternative to wallpaper.  So within a couple days, we got started. 

First, I painted the whole bathroom "lamb" by Martha Stewart.  I had been holding her "Plumage" swatch for a while, knowing I wanted to use it somewhere.  It is a blend of navy and teal I would say, and very very rich! 

Im not going to sugar coat was a HUGE pain in the a$$.  

I lost my steam many times, and I almost talked myself into stenciling just a feature wall.  There are six corners in my little bathroom and it was so frustrating to get the stencil in them without slanting.  I had to paint over the blue a couple times with the white and start over. UGH!
The thing that takes so long when you get started is that you have to wait for the square you just painted to dry before starting another.  I sped it up with a hair dryer...worked like a charm.
After each square is painted you line up the little triangle markers in the corners to make sure you are going straight.
This is how far I got on day one after several hours.  Yes, that is all. 
This post isn't going to end how you thought. There will not be a finished room to share. 

I worked on it a couple other times and just couldn't get a lot done at once.  Although I loved the way the stencil looked, I got annoyed with the whole project and dreaded the thought of pulling everything out and working on it again.

So I didn't.  I was able to convince myself that every wall doesn't need to be stenciled.

 Fast forward TWO YEARS and the stupid walls are still not finished.  Im used to it, but not satisfied. I have said many many many times that I would finish it.  Ok Cindy, just finish the one wall opposite the toilet where the mirror hangs.  At least then I would look intentional that I left the two entrance walls white. But no!

The reason I am finally sharing this project (and old-never finished post) with you is because I am going to change it.  To wallpaper.  Yes, a full circle.  What seemed like a lot of money to spend on this small powder room two years ago, now seems like...A finished bathroom!!  So worth it.  Plus I am kinda over the trellis design.

My inspiration?  This wet bar redo by Ally.  Here is the before and after.

Crazy right?   It was nice before too, but this is now WOW! So bold!  And so doable in a small space. Check out more of her before and after pictures on her blog From the Right Bank.

Guys, this is vinyl wallpaper from Lowes. Isn't it awesome?!  And look at the color choices!

The price is right too.  Only $45 for a double roll. (Does that mean 2 rolls?  How many will I need for my bathroom? Mom? )
This is what the website says
Wallpaper Width (Inches)20.5
Type of RollDouble
Roll Size (Sq. Feet)56.0
After seeing Ally's wetbar, I was reminded of all the cool "gem/mineral walls" I had seen/pinned on Pinterest. I am inspired all over again.

Ok that one is a real agate slab and would be 5 million dollars (real figure!) but how about this one which is hand painted?

Or this one (from LONNY) that is actually sheets of marbled paper. So beautiful!
{via LONNY}

This Malachite wall is crazy gorgeous.

Anyway, the bottom line is that I am never going to finish that stencil.  It's time for a new plan and there are so many good wallpaper options...Now to choose THE one!


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